Skinner Inc.

Auctioneers and Appraisers

Impeccable Taste: Skinner April 26 Fine Wines & Rare Spirits Auction Anchored by Two Significant Collections

Chateau La Mission Haut Brion 1982 (Lot 38, Estimate: $7,200-8,400)

Marie Keep, Director of Fine Wines, notes that numerous “unexpected and thrilling” wines await discovery in the April 26 Fine Wines & Rare Spirits auction, taking place in Boston at 6PM. The auction is anchored by two deep and diverse cellars: The Coastal Cellar and The Essex Collection, each offering splendid vintage Bordeaux and Burgundies.

She goes on to say that, like many of the collections that Skinner has presented in their ten years of fine wines auctions, “These wines have been acquired over a lifetime of passionate acquisition and tell the story of the consignor’s life and travels through labels, vintages, vineyards, and bottles.” The discerning, devoted connoisseurs who assembled these fine collections were true oenophiles whose personal tastes and histories are expressed in the wines they lovingly acquired.

The Coastal Cellar’s meticulous ledger lists as the earliest acquisition a single bottle of Chateau Ausone 1964. Through the 1980s the owner’s love of wine was expressed in extensive purchases from retailers, auctioneers, and producers, and then maintained in custom-built cellars.

The Essex Collection was assembled from the 1960s through the 1980s to celebrate professional milestones.  Full unopened cases mingled side-by-side with single bottles, slumbering undisturbed in a New England cellar.

Among the highlights of a sale with outstanding offerings:

♦ Lot 38, Chateau La Mission Haut Brion, 1982 (owc, estimated between $7,000-9,000)

♦ Lot 51, Chateau Petrus, 1989 (5 bottles, $13,000-15,000)

♦ Lot 118, Domaine de la Romanee Conti Montrachet, 1969 (6 bottles, $17,000-24,000)

♦ Lot 126, Comte Georges de Vogue Musigny Cuvee Vieilles Vignes, 1966 (owc, $21,000-31,000)

In her commentary on the provenance of these two remarkable collections, Marie Keep observes that some of the bottles being offered are less than pristine in appearance. A buyer who looks beyond bin soil, capsule corrosion, and label staining will recognize a treasure nonetheless, such as Lot 37, Chateau La Mission Haut Brion 1961 ($2,400-3,250), described by Robert Parker for The Wine Advocate as “absolutely stunning.”

An intriguing selection of French and American spirits completes this auction, including a generous selection of Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, Willett, Black Maple Hill, and Van Winkle. Included are numerous examples of Very Olde Saint Nick and Van Winkle special bottlings for the Japanese market. Among these choice spirits, one highlight is Lot 310, Old Rip Van Winkle 23 Years Old, with a crystal decanter and two glasses (750ml, $4,000-5,000).

Marie Keep points to the unique nature of the market for fine wines and rare spirits. Wine, she notes, is an intimate purchase with distinctive characteristics: it is meant to be consumed, it is in dwindling supply from limited production, and therefore is consistently in high demand.

Because of the breadth and depth of their offerings, Skinner wine and spirits auctions hold great appeal for both fledgling collectors and advanced connoisseurs, “from private buyers looking to round out their collections and diversify their choices, to professionals in the field of wine and food.”

Previews, Catalogs, and Bidding

Previews for this auction are by prior arrangement with the department. The telephone number is 508-970-3246, or e-mail finewines@skinnerinc.com.

The print catalog is available for purchase from the Subscriptions Department at subscriptions@skinnerinc.com. Prices realized will be available at www.skinnerinc.com during and after the sale. The Skinner website enables users to view all lots in the auction, leave bids, and bid live, in real-time through SkinnerLive!

About Skinner

Skinner auctions draw international interest from buyers and consignors alike, with material regularly achieving record prices. The company’s auction and appraisal services focus on fine art, jewelry, furniture, and decorative arts from around the globe, as well as wine, fine musical instruments, rare books, Asian art, clocks, Judaica, and more. Monthly Skinner Discovery auctions feature a breadth of estate material.

Widely regarded as one of the most trusted names in the business, Skinner appraisers have appeared on the PBS-TV series, Antiques Roadshow, since the show’s inception. Skinner has galleries in Boston and Marlborough, Massachusetts, as well as in New York City and Miami, Florida, with bidders participating in person, by phone, and online. Join auctions live with SkinnerLive! and Bidsquare. For more information, visit www.skinnerinc.com, find us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

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